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Weavers to protest power fee

Weavers in Bhagalpur have resolved to hit the road for settlement of the decades-old electricity dispute.

To mark the 27th martyr day on Sunday, the weavers under the banner of Bunkar Sangharsh Samiti decided to intensify their agitation against the government for its alleged apathy towards them.

Besides court cases, we still have to fight with the electricity department, said Ashfak Ansari, the samiti secretary, adding that the revised energy charges from Rs 450 to Rs 2,600 per horse power would bleed the weavers.

At the programme at Champanagar, around 8km from Bhagalpur, the weavers remembered Jahangir and Sashi Kumar who had been killed in police firing on this day in 1987. They also remembered the martyrdom of another weaver, Ganga Prasad, who was on hunger strike, arrested, put behind bars and subsequently died in the jail.

Police fired on the weavers who were demonstrating against the power bills. Sukdev Mehera, the deputy superintendent of police, Nathnagar, was also burnt alive in a police jeep by the unruly mob there.

Jumman Ansari, the samiti vice-president, said the weavers would initiate mass movement if the government failed to address its problems properly.

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